Mental Health Support
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Anyone in university?

I’ve been struggling with uni a lot since I started an MSc in October. It’s not so much the work but the MH issues, I’ve a history of dropping out of uni going back 10 years, but this time with help i’ve stuck it out more than a week.

That said I’ve been a nervous wreck because I think I’m a failure when I don’t understand something. And when that happens I feel like a complete fraud and failure and give up and do nothing. I end up falling behind. This is happening at the moment and I’m worried I’m going to fail my degree as a result. It feels like a losing battle at the moment.

I’m not sure what to do. The help from university is inadequate even though they know I have issues. Feeling depressed today. I get depressed whenever I do some uni work and don’t understand something:(

Anyone else in uni ever feel like this?

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Hi there para86, it sounds as though you are struggling a little at the moment, which I am very sorry to read. But congratulations on starting an MSc degree at university, that is a very big achievement and feel proud of yourself for commencing your studies again. Try not to think of the time you started at uni ten years ago and for whatever reasons were unable to finish your course. Often we start something but if it is not suitable or the right time, we may make a big decision and choice to discontinue a particular project, and then take it up again at another stage in our life. And though you are feeling anxious and low at the moment, this does not say you are a failure and perhaps this is the time for you to achieve your goals and ambitions to complete your course and get that degree that you are aiming for. It can feel a bit overwhelming at times when you have a lot of study to do and worrying about exams, and it really is important to pace yourself. Try and plan your study time and rest and relaxation time, perhaps making out a plan of action may be of help to you. And do try and access help again from your university and perhaps ask to see a counsellor as talking about your worries and anxieties can be of great help .It may also help you to make an appointment to see your GP who may also offer you support from your local mental health team, and perhaps a course of medication may also help with some talking therapies. I wonder too if any of our very kind and caring community members can offer further support for our friend here, many thanks.......take care of yourself and do get help and support ,so that you will continue with your degree and feel better in yourself in time, I also wish you a happy New Year and good luck with your studies.......kind regards......

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Thanks for your kind post. Spent the evening worrying, stressing and not understanding anything. Fired off an e-mail to the module leader for help! Now in bed at 8pm trying to sleep off this bad mood :/

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I was in university many years ago and I'm a firm believer that it can lead you to a more positive life. Whatever your subject area is focusing on it is important , but equally important is learning to survive the experience. This was often the hardest part for me. Learning how to be disciplined and organized, how to find the right people when I needed help. Learning to be a self starter and to stay on task. I didn't get it all at once, but it is the part of your education which will be most helpful in life. Subject matter can always be reviewed if necessary. You should have a tutor to help with your studies and you may need to spend more time studying . I did this when I was having panic attacks and major anxiety. You have to learn to stand up for yourself. I was married, had three kids, and had a part time job when I went back to university. It was insane and also the best thing I ever did for myself. Don't give up on yourself. Pam

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Can most definitely relate to this. About five years ago I started an MA whilst in a most vulnerable state mentally and emotionally. I quickly fell behind with the reading list and coursework in general, felt considerably less "clever" than all of my classmates, and generally hated the experience. The 'counsellors' on-campus were of next to no help.

I'm afraid I cant offer much in the way of advice, as I genuinely did fail with regards to my own post-grad studies. Just wanted to say that you're not alone, and I think you're doing great for getting back to it and sticking out for as long as you have.

Take care,

Tom

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I didn't go to counsellors on campus either, they all told me I was to old to go back to school. I was in therapy. I don't think everyone needs to go to university. I did , but that was my issue. You sound clever to me and more importantly empathetic to others. Pam

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This feels me with great fear Tom! 😱 I’ve got a bad feeling I’m going to fail too. Trying my best to keep on top of the work but generally find that I’m avoiding it because it makes me ill.

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Ahh I’m sorry, didn’t mean to make you more apprehensive about it :(

I know it’s much easier said than done but you needn’t feel a failure for not understanding something. After all, you’re there to learn right? :)

Us humans are capable of pretty great things. You just may surprise yourself.

Hang in there, we’re all rooting for you!

Tom

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I’ve dropped out of uni 4 times and changed courses once whilst at a 5th uni. Fingers crossed I don’t drop out for a 5th time. I’ve been to 6 unis. Geez, sounds crazy! I should really learn when to quit huh guys? 😂

Part of the reason I went back again is because I wanted to stick two fingers up at my depression and let it know who’s boss. Can’t let it control my life!

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HI Para86,

I felt the same way until a friend of mine contacted the Student Assistance Program and made sure I kept the appointment. I was reluctant to admit I was struggling.

It would have been handy to have something written down e.g. a copy of these blogs would be a starting point.

I still didn't make it past half way of the course but felt that I had done the best I could and at the time with resources I had.

Having documented my struggles, I am considering trying again.

Wishing you luck !

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What was it for you? Is university a trigger for your anxiety?

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I struggle with severe memory/cognitive impairment and was able to complete a University course online. The subject was Your Brain and the Science of Memory and I wanted badly to understand more deeply my own issues. I struggled, but pressed on. I did fall behind but contacted my Professor who was very understanding, He encouraged me to try and catch up and I did. I am glad that I persisted.

I was amazed at myself because first of all because of my cognitive issues, I never believed I was smart enough to study neuroscience, heck at one time I didn't even know what that meant.

para86, I applaud your efforts. You can change history and it can change your future. Your problem of not understanding has been a problem I have struggled with my whole life - so hear me when I say that I believe in the very effort of continuing your studies, you are successful. Each step forward is successful. You have in a sense changed your own history already by not dropping out and sticking it out for a week - this is now your reference point, you did it once and you can do it again. Resolve within yourself to believe in YOU!

I have been sick for more years than I have been employable and yet this year, I dare to believe and work towards hopefully getting a part-time job. I've had jobs in the past that have been affected by my issues, but I rally again and again and keep trying.

Failure is giving up totally and that doesn't sound like you.

I am not familiar with MSc - what is it and what subject is it that fascinates you?

I am rooting for you - I believe in your capabilities to succeed, the question is DO YOU?

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First day of term two today, i’ve meant to to some reading for today but I’m really anxious so haven’t done it, i have memory problems too nowadays and have no idea how I will pass my exams. MSc is masters. I’m doing it in computer science. It does interest me from time to time but only when I am in the moment and not anxious. When I am anxious i don’t enjoy uni. Deep down i want to do it though. It would be great if there was no pressure of exams and coursework.

That fact that you succeeded is reassuring. I now has someone to look up to instead of expecting to fail.

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I believe in your abilities and after a time believe that you will come to believe in those abilities and then the sky is the limit!

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Yes please don't keep telling yourself about failing. I changed Uni, I was struggling with my depression, I changed course then I passed my degree at a new Uni, but found a tutor who was helpful even when I was superficially cutting etc.

Also consider seeing/revisiting your doctor for help.

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Today was like shit! The lecturer was just so bad. When I said he was going too fast he was all patronising and said: “well I can’t go any slower!” It wasn’t just me. A lot of people were complaining about it! It was just a bad bad lecture and demonstration class where everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, and compounded by a super smart but bad teacher!

I wrote to the student rep asking if we could have a new lecturer as i felt that i am going to fail his module (he led a module last term which i think i will fail, so two terms of him is like depressing!)

Will try figuring out for myself what needs to be done tomorrow.

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